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Animism in Design: Creating an internet of quirky things [pdf] (philvanallen.com)
22 points by keiferski 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments

I do miss the days when tech was more whimsical. Everything from video game UI to clippy to general design styles. Much like how I enjoy older movies because they feel more sincere than a lot of modern, mainstream movies where every sincere moment gets interrupted by a flippant joke or jarring tone change 10ms later. It feels like nowadays media is designed more to look cool than to _be_ cool/fun/etc.

Same, it's part of what my brain miss. And it's not only nostalgia it's about emotional background and goals. I was all for engineered everything. But now I feel a void. Especially when the tech is oversold to make money through low hanging fruits.

Half of me is "this is a really playful and neat way of thinking about design" and the other half of me is, "I do not want everything to act like Clippy".

> The question however is: can animism be deployed as an agent of creative disruption? In practice this would mean to use animism as trigger to rethink our role and agency of humans in a world of objects that are getting smarter and smarter. The ontological and philosophical implications of this approach ... [and so on]

I love the idea here, but it's extremely academic. This is something you could try out with a product and see if it works. My guess is that if he's been working in this area for 10 years, and the idea hasn't been put into practice, there's not a ton of practical value to it. It sounds crass to judge it in terms of whether or not you can make money off the theory, but remember that the context of this is consumer products, so it seems like a fair question to ask.

fair fair

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